Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) 2006
DTIS update N/A
WTO accession 1995

With EIF support, the Maldives has adopted a consistent policy approach for economic diversification, improving the ease of doing business and promoting investment and trade facilitation. As a service-based economy, the country has undergone substantive reforms, with new legislation, regulations and frameworks enabling foreign direct investment with the goal of promoting economic and social development.

EIF is supporting the implementation of trade, investment, transport and employment sector activities, while also working to strengthen private sector collaboration and encourage bilateral trade cooperation in the region.

MOU 19/01/11
Budget 1'500'000
End date 31/07/18

EIF is working to increase the country's exports by strengthening institutional capacities to formulate and implement national trade strategies and policies. As a result of these trade strategies, Maldives will be able to realize poverty reduction, inclusive growth and sustainable development.


  • To support regional integration, the EIF National Implementation Unit (NIU) is providing technical assistance to facilitate and launch the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China and providing information to public and private stakeholders and negotiation teams to prepare Maldives’ position papers for the negotiation rounds. This bilateral cooperation has paved the way for financing mobilization for key strategic projects, including the Malé Airport and the Hulhulé-Malé Bridge.
  • EIF supported the Government's participation in the China-Maldives and the Hong Kong-Maldives FTA negotiations as well as negotiations of bilateral investment agreements with key trading partners. The first round of bilateral investment agreement negotiations with UAE were held in August 2016 and the bilateral economic and trade cooperation talks with Thailand in October 2016. 
  • Public-private sector dialogues were organised to seek feedback on ongoing negotiations on China-Maldives and Hong-Kong-Maldives FTAs.
  • Trade mainstreaming initiatives are being supported including the drafting of maritime licensing regulations as well as the review and amendments of the Port Dues Act, taxi regulations and the land regulations regarding three-wheeler vehicle licensing issuance. The Maritime Safety Regulation was developed and is implemented by the Maldives Transport Authority. Guidelines and syllabi are being drafted for maritime training for boat captains as well as the guidelines for local maritime safety equipment.
  • Continued support to public-private sector consultations and the government work’s to disseminate information on priority trade and investment policies of the government. A joint national colloquium with Judiciary and other stakeholders was organised in December 2016 on improving ease of doing business in Maldives.
  • Development of strategic government projects have been supported to promote trade development, for instance the negotiation processes for the Thilafushi Port and the Free Zone Development Project plus an ICT knowledge park in Hulhumale’ Youth City.
  • The NIU supports the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) as a “one-stop” point for the registration of all entities engaging in business in Maldives. The NIU has also supported Invest Maldives, the Government’s investment promotion arm housed in the MED, which is entrusted with promoting foreign investments to the country, with a dedicated website,
  • The NIU team has contributed to the development of a Maldives Doing Business Guide and an Invest Maldives Magazine, which have been widely disseminated at the Maldives Investment Forum and to visiting business, donor and consular delegations.
  • Ongoing support has been provided to the management of investment project proposals received under the Special Economic Zones regime, the Government’s development initiative to create infrastructure and facilities, such as ports, airports, warehousing and export processing zones to foster export‑oriented manufacturing and service industries. Through this, funding of US$735,000 was mobilized by the MED from the private sector for the Maldives Investment Forum and Expo Maldives to promote locally made products and services.
MOU 05/08/13
Budget 1'557'838
End date 31/12/17

This project is strengthening the capacity of trade facilitation institutions by focusing on: (a) customs modernization with full migration to the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) World; and (b) strengthening the regulatory capacity of the Civil Aviation Authority to implement a robust economic regulatory framework to engage private sector in management of airport infrastructure. Simplified border procedures can improve trade performance, promote growth and reduce income inequality.


  • 79 customs officials received training on valuation, risk management and post clearance audit. Awareness sessions and exchange programmes on valuation process and procedures, risk management, and post clearance audit were also organised for over 213 customs officers as well as 19 traders.
  • 30 customs officers have either completed ASYCUDA training or Java training for the effective implementation of ASYCUDA rollout. Substantive consultations were carried out with stakeholders (port operators, freight forwarders, shipping agents, etc.) to integrate manifest processing procedures into the ASYCUDA platform.
  • The created ASYCUDA platform has been completed and both manifest processing procedures and traders' profiles have been developed and integrated into ASYCUDA World risk management system.
  • Customs services have been modernized with the live deployment of ASYCUDA World at the main sea port in Male and the Maldives Customs Services Head Office on 1 August 2016. The system has been deployed to all Customs sites across the country since December 2016.
  • The collaboration with the Asian Development Bank/World Customs Organization (WCO) and UNESCAP in the area of Single Window has helped push the Government's reform agenda on trade facilitation, and the Government has been working with UNESCAP/UNICTRAL to undertake a legal gap analysis and develop related model laws to support implementation of a National Single Window project. Funding for this project will be sought from Asian Development Bank's South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC).
  • The WCO completed their second mission on PCA to the Maldives in May 2015. The mission included a training programme, which gave 21 customs officials participants a theoretical and practical lesson in post clearance audit. Customs officials were also trained on risk management during another WCO mission in August 2015.
  • Stakeholder consultations process to finalize the Economic Regulatory Framework for the aviation sector was completed and the regulations were finalized in July 2015.
  • As part of a capacity‑building programme to sensitize stakeholders on the newly drafted Economic Regulatory Framework, 22 public and private sector participants in the aviation sector were trained in areas including Airport Strategic Management and the IATA’s Policies on Economic Regulations and Airport Competition.
  • Integrated Framework for Least Developed Countries: Glimpses from Comoros, Lesotho, Maldvies and Vanuatu (2011)

  • Maldives Aide-Mémoire Main Mission (2005)

  • Maldives DTIS Action Matrix (2006)

  • Maldives Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) Volume 1 (2006)

  • Maldives 7th National Development Plan: Creating New Opportunities (2006-2010)

  • Maldives Annual Progress Report (2013)

  • Securing Sustained Impact: Implementing IPoA: The role of the EIF (2016)

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Saeeda Umar
NIU Coordinator Policy Planning Section Ministry of Economic Development Male

Yusuf Riza
Permanent Secretary and EIF Focal Point Ministry of Economic Development Male

Hang Tran
Country Coordinator